Xentis Squad 4_2 disc wheel set carbon clincher851

As the snow begins to thaw, my thoughts start going from fatbikes to gravel and dirt roads. As the perfect interim while the trails dry out, the often wet and muddy forest roads are excellent candidates for the foul weather stopping power of disc brakes. Which is exactly why I can’t wait to get these new Xentis Squad 4.2 Disc wheels mounted up so I can go explore wherever the bike takes me. In what should be a big upgrade in terms of rotational mass and stiffness, the Austrian built Xentis Squad 4.2 clinchers combine a 42mm deep rim with straight pull spokes for on and off road performance.

Get the vitals after the jump.

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When these wheels first showed up at the office, judging by the box I was pretty certain that I would be giving Stage Race Distribution a call to let them know that FedEx trashed the wheels. Imagine my surprise to find the wheels perfectly happy inside the impressive Xentis padded wheel bag. Wheel bags aren’t usually on my mind, but this was a real world test that it passed with flying colors thanks to the ample padding and toggle ties inside to keep each wheel in place. FedEx approved.

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You really can’t take in the the Squad 4.2s without noticing the 42mm rim – specifically the Active Turbulator lip. While it may seem like a gimmick, there are parallels to be drawn with Reynolds’ SLG lip on their aero wheels which make it seem like this concept really does hold water. Or disturb air, or something. The idea is that the Active Turbulator creates turbulence behind the wheel for improved aerodynamics but also allowing for a shallower rim which will handle better in cross winds. By current standards, the Squad 4.2 rim is on the narrow side with a skinny 12.6mm internal width, and 21.2mm external width. The lip of the rim is quite thick which cuts down on the measured size of the internal cavity.

If you’re into the details, you’ll love the fact that Xentis builds in a computer magnet right into the carbon rim. The magnet is offset from the valve to create a more balanced wheel, and you don’t have to have a magnet hanging off your spoke. Pretty neat. There is also an anti rattle rubber grommet for the valve, and according to Stage Race an RFID chip somewhere in the wheel for tracking! Just like all the Xentis wheels, the final run out and wheel check are hand written on the rim adding a nice touch to a premium wheelset.

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Obviously, the big story here is the addition of disc brakes to the Squad 4.2. In addition to the disc specific rim, the wheels receive straight pull 6 bolt disc hubs.

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Both hubs are laced with 28 straight pull nail head bladed spokes  to offer the performance necessary for discs. The 135mm wide rear hub uses a fairly standard three pawl system with 32 teeth on the drive ring, though thanks to the springs and long arms of the pawls it has a very light feel to the engagement. Freehub bodies are available for Shimano/SRAM 10/11 speed, Campy 11 speed, and even SRAM XD drivers for XX1.

Mechanic’s Corner: To access the hub’s internals pull of the non drive side cap with your hands. Then you will need a 5mm allen wrench and some kind of wrench for the flat that is machined into the axle. A park BO-2 fits perfectly, don’t ask how I found out. The pawls are were a little dry on the inside, so it’s worth using something like Dumonde’s freehub oil to lube em up.

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At 850g for the rear and 740g for the front with rim strips, the wheels clock in at 1590g for the set.

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No high end wheelset would be complete with out some posh skewers, and the Xentis models don’t disappoint. The Ti external cam skewers weigh 58g for the pair.

Xentis Squad 4.2 Disc wheels are sold in the US through Stage Race Distribution and carry a retail price of $2,599.00.


  1. Will the rims be available separately? A proper disc only carbon road rim is the way forward! But the rest of it reeks of horse. ‘Straight pull nail head bladed spokes to offer the performance needed for discs.’ Hahaha, neigh I say!

  2. Maybe in 6 or 7 years a wheel manufacturer will make a disc specific rim for use with disc hubs. We can only wait and hope until then.

  3. 12.9 internal width?! Seems a bit tight in comparison to current trends, especially as disc wheels find homes on gravel bikes and cross bikes.

  4. If I spent that much on wheels i’d be nervous every ride. Stans wheels are the same weight, or perhaps 20 grams more, come in a variety of widths, and cost $600 if you buy stock.

  5. @Rob –

    If you believe the current press, Enve, Reynolds, and Roval (yuck!)at the very least have disc specific rims & builds available for the 2014 season.

  6. how would that wheel bag hold up in the front world? i’m glad it did great in the rear world tests, but i live in the front world.

  7. Hey Guys,
    Just a few really quick comments…
    1. Yes, rims are available for order separately, just contact us.
    2. We now have wheelsets in stock in North America and ready for same-day shipping to dealers and customers.
    3. Please note Zach’s wheels were a prototype set and production version should be under 1500 grams by a fair margin!
    4. As for rim internals, The 42-Disc is really for a road or gravel specific setup which allows for a 27-28 mm tire without issue, even up to a 32.
    5. For those going the mega-tire route, I’d recommend using our 29’er rims, which are much wider and more robust: http://www.xentis.com/en/2012/squad-2-5-mtb-29-cc/1984/products/

    Contact us for any additional info on these or other Xentis wheels.

    Mike Yakubowicz
    Stage-Race Distribution

  8. Road disc – spaced to 135mm??? I thought road spacing was 130mm.
    Will they take a 100+ psi tire? the other carbon disc offerings have tire pressure limits that leave them in the off-road category.

What do you think?